With a fan base as loyal as a Marine
battalion and a catalog littered with nine sparkling gems of diverse
Folk/Pop/Rock, including the ebullient Dick Van Dyke
parks-and-recreational swing of last year’s Let’s Fly a Kite,
singer/songwriter Eleni Mandell had no desire or inclination to subject
her creative methodology to any severe course corrections.
Huddled in the Sword Room of MOTR Pub, the
voices of the poets reading at the monthly Word of Mouth Cincinnati
event remain at the volume usually reserved for intimate conversations
in domestic settings, barely carrying sound across the small
cellar-esque basement of the Over-the-Rhine bar.
Bunbury Music Festival (taking
place along the riverfront’s Sawyer Point Park and Yeatman’s Cove) has
some great Cincinnati acts scattered throughout Friday, Saturday and
Sunday, each well worth adding to your itinerary.
With the number of places in which to
hone their craft in short supply, it has befallen many comedians to
organize their own independent shows. It’s a concept that developed
somewhat oddly in comedy club-heavy towns like the aforementioned, and
it’s now in Cincinnati.
Identifying Charles Walker’s influences
doesn’t require prolonged exposure or intense examination. The Milwaukee
native grew up with a love of the Blues, Funk, Pop and Motown, as
evidenced by his devotion to Luther Allison, Prince and Stevie Wonder,
and the sound that he’s developed with his latest outfit, appropriately
tagged the Charles Walker Band.
If you’re a Donkeys fan, you know the San
Diego quartet from its decade-plus history, three exemplary albums on
Dead Oceans and 2014 debut with new label Easy Sound Recording Co., Ride the Black Wave.
You know they haven’t had a lineup change since forming in 2004 and
that they’ve been nominated twice (winning once) for Best Rock Band at
the San Diego Music Awards.
Prolific singer/songwriter Mark Utley has released a single album’s worth of songs. And that’s all. Bulletville, Utley’s excellent
sophomore solo album, is not a double-set on a single CD or accompanied
by a new release from his band Magnolia Mountain or another musical
vessel for the songs that pour endlessly from his head, heart and hands.
Ben Miller Band would be a perfect fit for a public goat ropin’.
Along with some more traditional instrumentation, like a drum kit or
acoustic guitar, the Ben Miller Band members will play a harmonica
through a 1960s home phone receiver with its cord still attached. Or
flush a washboard through a wah-wah pedal.